Friday, May 14, 2021

Marshall Crenshaw 11: This Is Easy

Certain artists have that first album that’s so solid that the idea of a greatest hits album almost seems redundant. The Cars and the Pretenders come to mind, but in Marshall Crenshaw’s case, where his later albums never had the legs of his first, a hits album is an opportunity to show people what they might be missing.
Being the good curators they’d always been, the Rhino label went for the one-two punch, by expanding his stellar debut simultaneously with compiling a best-of. This Is Easy! offered an unbeatable chronological sequence of his finest ear candy. Opening with the early wide-eyed single “Something’s Gonna Happen”, it moves through only four songs from the debut, and includes the “You’re My Favorite Waste Of Time” B-side. Field Day and Downtown each get four songs, and the balance of his studio albums get smaller but choice samples, right up to “Starless Summer Sky” from 1996.
Those two singles are the only real rarities, but since many of the albums had gone out of print by then, This Is Easy! very conveniently revived songs that had been lost to indifference. Some even appeared in their single edits, which guaranteed that the disc was filled to capacity. In fact, Rhino’s double disc The Definitive Pop Collection six years later expanded the program by a mere eight songs, tacking on a few more recent tracks but also adding “Cryin’, Waitin’, Hopin’” from 1987’s La Bamba soundtrack. And for all the different producers and players involved, everything goes together like they were meant to be.

Marshall Crenshaw This Is Easy! The Best Of Marshall Crenshaw (2000)—4

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